Blah Blah Blah: What to Do When Words Don't Work

( 41 )

Overview

Ever been to so many meetings that you couldn't get your work done? Ever fallen asleep during a bulletpoint presentation? Ever watched the news and ended up knowing less? Welcome to the land of Blah Blah Blah.

The Problem: We talk so much that we don't think very well. Powerful as words are, we fool ourselves when we think our words alone can detect, describe, and defuse the multifaceted problems of today. They can't-and that's bad, because ...

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Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don't Work

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Overview

Ever been to so many meetings that you couldn't get your work done? Ever fallen asleep during a bulletpoint presentation? Ever watched the news and ended up knowing less? Welcome to the land of Blah Blah Blah.

The Problem: We talk so much that we don't think very well. Powerful as words are, we fool ourselves when we think our words alone can detect, describe, and defuse the multifaceted problems of today. They can't-and that's bad, because words have become our default thinking tool.

The Solution: This book offers a way out of blah-blah-blah. It's called "Vivid Thinking."

In Dan Roam's first acclaimed book, The Back of the Napkin, he taught readers how to solve problems and sell ideas by drawing simple pictures. Now he proves that Vivid Thinking is even more powerful. This technique combines our verbal and visual minds so that we can think and learn more quickly, teach and inspire our colleagues, and enjoy and share ideas in a whole new way.

The Destination: No more blah-blah-blah. Through Vivid Thinking, we can make the most complicated subjects suddenly crystal clear. Whether trying to understand a Harvard Business School class, or what went down in the Conan versus Leno battle for late-night TV, or what Einstein thought about relativity, Vivid Thinking provides a way to clarify anything.

Through dozens of guided examples, Roam proves that anyone can apply this systematic approach, from leftbrain types who hate to draw to right-brainers who hate to write. This isn't just a book about improving communications, presentations, and ideation; it's about removing the blah-blah- blah from your life for good.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

If you have ever felt your eyes glazing over during an "important" meeting or perfected your doodling style during a PowerPoint presentation, this is the book for you. With its call to Vivid Thinking, Dan Roam's Blah Blah Blah follows up on the success of his The Back of the Napkin. In that entertaining primer, he showed readers how we can solve problems by drawing pictures. In this book, he demonstrates that simplifying problems or selling solutions can be achieved through simple word and/or picture devices. One of those rare business books that cuts through the muck.

Publishers Weekly
We all hate corporate-speak and impenetrable, needlessly complex language—but Roam’s (Back of the Napkin) ire is at an altogether different level. He rails against the iniquities of “blah-blah-blah”—the hopped-up pompous language that leads to complexity (which kills our ability to think), misunderstanding (which kills our ability to lead), and boredom (which kills our ability to care). The solution, he proposes, is learning with images rather than words, which we do as children—and are then dissuaded from ever doing again, with the exception of standouts such as the Periodic Table of the Elements, the world’s greatest organization chart. Through a series of charming line drawings starring a fox representing the linear, verbal mind and a hummingbird representing the synthesizing, visual mind, Roam presents his theories on how to present ideas and arguments such that they can be readily understood—which unfortunately, boils down to the rule to “use images instead of words” and not much else. It’s tough to miss the irony of a book decrying the unnecessary complication of language spinning out a single idea through dozens of unnecessary illustrative examples. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591844594
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 473,620
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Roam is the author of The Back of the Napkin, which was Fast Company's Best Business Book of the Year and BusinessWeek's Innovation and Design Book of the Year. His consulting clients have included Microsoft, Google, Wal-Mart, Boeing, Lucasfilm, The Gap, the U.S. Navy, and the White House Office of Communications. His health-care analysis was named BusinessWeek's Best Presentation of 2009. He lives in San Francisco.

Visit www.danroam.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    No better book on the power of Visual Thinking

    We all know a picture is worth a 1000 words and accept it too. However, it is a totally different matter to go about conceptualizing and establishing a easily understandable and executable way of substituting words with pictures and images. It is a matter of being able to walk the talk. In this book, Dan Roam just excels himself with one of the most easily understandable methods of going about showing the power of images and pictures versus drab, dull words. And Dan goes about the book with a tongue in cheek sense of humor which only strengthens what he sets about teaching. His sketches and drawings are so well thought of and rendered that they do completely replace the words. In my line of work, I do use a lot of visual elements to teach concepts (financial analysis, incidentally) but Dan in his book tells you why you should do it and what it will do to the message you are trying to deliver. The thinking and conceptualization that emerges after applying his concepts are so rich and varied that this should be considered an expression for creativity and brainstorming. If you ever doubted that pictures deliver more meaning and learning than mere words, go buy this book. You will be a convert for sure.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2015

    Chill this is just a test. I will get rid of it soon. Don't frea

    Chill this is just a test. I will get rid of it soon. Don't freak. Ash of Dancing Flames' Bio




    Name ~ Ash of Dancing Flames, but she goes by Ash. Its up in the heading, you know!




    Gender ~ Female




    Age ~ RUDE... OK shes like 13-15 moons or something.




    Looks ~ Dark, dark, dark grey fur all over her body, except for on one white scar on her stomach, which never healed.That is the only visible scar, asides from her nicked ear. She has icy grey-blue eyes that seem to have the texture of rippling water, and she seems to radiate a dark black light that can either leech the light from everything else, or make everything else seem brighter in contrast. The light goes away in direct sunlight or any moonlight.




    Personality ~ She is kind to her close friends, but can be a bit prickly. She only tolerates the annoying cats, and she positively hates anyone who tries to oppose her or hurt her friends or her clan/tribe. She is a good warrior and is loyal to her family, and friends, as well as a mate if she had one, but she isn’t afraid to challenge anyone who gets in her way. She is very brave in battle, as well as in other ways, but she will run away from anything that is not a battle worth fighting, in her opinion. She is self perserverant and she can be a backstabber.




    Friends ~ Whoever wants to be her friend! She is nice, you just wait and see!




    Crush ~ That’s for her to know any you to find out!




    Mate ~ none, and looking… maybe? She’s a bit young for a mate.




    Kits ~ She was forcedmated by some rogues so even though she has no mate she is expecting some kits soon.




    History ~ Her mother, who was in the Tribe of Burning Mountains, was forcemated by a rogue that then ran off, leaving her with a single kit. (As Ash doesn't know, she has like 32 siblings from all the force mating the rouge did until he was killed by one of the shes. One of them, Shadowpaw, might join the clan if ) She was visited by Dark Forest warriors when she was a apprentice, and she was raised to be like them. She was banished by her family when they found out, and she swore revenge against them. She came back and fought against the Tribe, and was killed in battle, then sent to the Dark Forest for all of her evil deeds. She pleaded with Starclan for a second chance when she realized what she had done and they let her go, but she had to keep her memories and she still visits Dark Forest every night against her will. This is how she got her power, Death Sense. One day, she heard that a cat named Nightwing was going to be killed by the Death Dealer, and she ran over to Celestialclan to get her help. Then she just… stayed. (About three real weeks into her joining Celestialclan, she was forcemated by some rogues. That is where the kits are from.)




    Powers ~ Death Sense, the power to sense the barriers between the Dark Forest, making it extremely difficult to not go back. Death Sense also allows her to sense death and life forms, this is especially good for hunting and sometimes for battle.




    Other ~ Just ask! She will not bite.




    ~~~ Ash of Dancing Flames

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    There are no reviews

    There are no reviews at all!!! }:[ }:[ }:[

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Xerxes

    Britt dont worry silence jst mafe a pretend curse. XD cyrus has no curse.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2015

    Portal ✧

    XD XD XD That cracked me up, it was (if a little crude) so randomly, disgustingly hilarious, it had me in stiches.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2015

    To below

    Wow. That was amazingly stupid makingfun of warriors. Goodbye. Tje she cat padded away in disgust.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2015

    Birdyhearts destiny

    There was a kit named birdykit. Sje became leader of her clan at age 2 because the leader boomboomstar said so. The clan was called Weirdoclan. She got a billoin cats to be born into the clan in 12 moons. Among them were Poopymud, Baldcat, Gooeypooie, and Ahhchoo. She mated with Crazypeople and had 5 kits named Gooeykit, Poopkit, Peekit, Dumbkit, and Minionkit. Her best fried was Dumbdumb. Dumbdumb's mate was Annoying. She had 6 kits and named them Bathroomkit, Toiletkit, Meepkit, Byebyekit, Deadkit, and Cupcakekit. One day a twoleg came into camp and put a bomb in the middle of camp. Birdystar and Bombmaker jumped on it untill they shut it of by ripping of the count down thing. Then Dumbkit came by and swallowed the bomb whole. He exploded and Birdystar put him back together. Then it started to rain poop. Weirdoclan ate ot as a celebration. Birdystar ate to much and lost all of her hundred lives. Stupidwhatever became leader and Birdystar was regenerated as Stupidstar's kit. Her new name was Boomboomgoesthebombkit. Her sister was named Iamreallyreallydumbkit. And Birdystar kept becoming leader and being regenerated as a kit. The end! I wrote that in 10 minutes people!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2015

    DAVE!!

    To the previous reviewer: lay off the mescaline. DAVE HAS SPOKEN!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Leopard

    paw

    Hi cat who followed me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Sedgepaw

    Padded in

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2014

    Test

    &omega

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    This is one of the best books I have read this year. I was able

    This is one of the best books I have read this year. I was able to finish it in few hours. Very clear and easy to follow the concepts. Better than most of the complicated books on presentation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Yo Mia

    &#8251 &#9701 &star &#9724

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    What is a res?????????????????

    ???????
    Reply to moonpaw

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    &smile

    &hearts

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Jay

    He slowly stood up.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Silverflight

    She stood looking at him curiously.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    &smile

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    & smile is ?

    &smile

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Winterdove

    Where shall our den be?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

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